Great Witcombe

Great Witcombe

The Villa Rustica at Great Witcombe is a former Roman mansion (Villa rustica) in the district of Great Witcombe, in the county of Gloucestershire, in the southwest of England. In ancient times, it was in the Roman province of Britannia (Britain, since the fourth century Britannia prima). The villa is close to Gloucester, the ancient Glevum. The villa was discovered in 1818 and excavated the same year by Samuel Lysons and Sir William Hicks. Further investigation took place from 1938 to 1939 and from 1960 to 1973 by archeologist Ernest Greenfield. Investigations in the years 1999 to 2000 localized further buildings in the surrounding area, which were not excavated. The large villa has an approximately H-shaped floor plan and is built into a slope. As a result, the rooms preserved today are located on different levels. Several construction phases can be distinguished, which date from the first to the fourth century AD. In the center of the complex is a kind of gallery with an octagonal room on the northwest side, which may have been a summer dining room. In the southwestern wing are the remains of two baths, which are equipped with well-preserved mosaics and can still be visited today. Two mosaics are decorated with geometric patterns and date back to the second century. A third mosaic shows fish and sea animals in black and white. It is a popular motif for bath rooms. It dates back to the second century. In the nineteenth century, some walls still stood at a considerable height and often still had extensive remains of murals, which are only partially preserved today. Walls were often painted with field decorations. The villa was rich in small finds. Among them were the bronze statuette of a flora, well preserved spoons, and Roman glass windows. The coins date from the first century to the end of the fourth century.

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